Half the promises people say were never kept, were never made. – Edgar Watson Howe
It is useless to hold a person to anything he says while he is in love, drunk, or running for office. ~Shirley MacLaine
This post has been stewing in my brain since the President announced, in April, that he was running for reelection. The announcement basically triggered an early Liberal Festivus!
All the sad sacks with “Hope” and “Change” bumper stickers fractured limbs and strained muscles to take the proverbial stand to show America where, on the doll, Obama had touched them. In an essay popularly circulated in some twitter circles, one author estimates that President Obama promised him almost more than two thousand dollars in undelivered funds!
To think I was pissed when President-elect Obama didn’t send me my “O” t-shirt in the promised 6-8 weeks! I should have held out for cash!
The litany of angry charges pouring in from the left are diverse, layered and lofty. Much like the left itself.
The President started a war without congressional approval!
The President didn’t close Gitmo!
Where are all the gay marriages we were promised?!
And here’s an actual quote: So I deem him not just a failure, but a menace, a stain on our nation, a disgrace, a big fat black mark in the history books.
(I don’t want to know what that guy says about Jefferson, whose own children were bought and sold; or Jackson who slaughtered American Indians; or Roosevelt who authorized internment camps; or Lincoln who burned half the country to the ground; or Hoover…)
Yet, here I sit (actually, lounge, cause that’s how I roll) prepared to make the case for President Obama’s reelection. And I promise to do so without even pointing at his possible opposition. Much. (DUDE. Have you ever listened to Herman Cain speak? Say…about the constitution?
Let’s just say I’m all in on the Bachmann/Palin challenge to the Obama/Anybody but Biden…ugh okay, fine Biden 2012 ticket.
By way of background, there is something about me that you may already know, if you’ve been reading the brilliant prose I’ve been publishing on the interwebs for the last (gulp) eight years, or that you may not know, having only recently discovered my brilliant prose.
The first President I voted for was Jimmy Carter. Not because I’m that old, though I am pretty old, but because my mom thought it would be fun to let her four-year-old pull the levers. And I pulled them but good! She picked me up and and I slid my tiny little hand all the way down the Democratic line DESTROYING those levers along the way! And then with two hands (and an assist from mom) I pushed the metal bar to record the votes and free us from the booth. It was AWESOME. And, without divulging too much, this is how I’ve voted in every election since then. Although, now New York has some weird faux electronic system and there are the five years I spent voting in Connecticut. So, there you have it, I am a Democrat through and through.
While I have great affinity for socially conservative principles, the Republican party embodies none of those. I can’t even “argue” with Republicans anymore because the only consistent party identity that I’ve discerned is “we’re for whatever the Democrats are not for.” Unedr President Bush the federal government MORE THAN DOUBLED, yet now they’re all about small government? Under president Bush, the United States government essentially nationalized more than 30 banks, yet President Obama is the communist boogie man? President Reagan presided over one of the largest tax increases in our history, but President Obama is robbing the ruch blind? Um…er…okkaayyy. Good talk, good talk.
So, *I* will be voting for President Obama in 2012 *knock wood* *spit spit* that I am still alive AND that he’s still alive (oh man, why do I freak myself out with thoughts like those??!) because he’s the Democratic nominee. And that’s how *I* do. But I can hear you now, “but Stephane, I am not you, why should I vote for President Obama in 2012?”
Well, the reasons are various and many.
President Obama has only been in office a little over three years and he’s already accomplished sooo much.
He negotiated the historic healthcare reform bill and now 32 million additional Americans will receive healthcare coverage. I personally, am now saddled with enormous premium bills because the insurance companies have pretty much just passed the added costs on to consumers, but should I have a layabout child one day, it’ll be good to know that said slacker will be covered well into his or her twenties.
He authorized a number of stimulus packages that saved the American auto industry and stabilized the financial sector. This is something that both Democrats AND Republicans should like since it continued the bailout policies started under President Bush/Paulson AND rescued the union heavy auto industry in the same way the Republican administration protected their friends in corporate America.
President Obama’s justice department has deported more illegal aliens than any other administration in the history of the United States. How can anyone who seriously thumps their chest about undocumented immigrants NOT support the administration that is so vigorously enforcing our nation’s laws?
President Obama initiated military action against Libya to defend America’s interests.
Oh man, this is sounding real Republicany and is making me uncomfortable. So how about this, President Obama also, made improving America’s infrastructure a priority, reversing President Bush’s policy of doing nothing – the first President since Coolidge to so neglect the nations highways, grids and buildings. President Obama’s cash for clunkers program got inefficient vehicles off the road, spurred auto sales and subsidized my Beamer. His goal to get fuel efficiency above 50mpg is next up.
The President also lifted bans on stem cell research, retired the clunky and expensive shuttle program. He reversed many of the Bush administration closed door policies and now allows photographs of our war dead, requires all federal agencies to comply with the Freedom of Information Act and refuses to let corporations in arrears on taxes, bid for federal contracts.
President Obama is also seen as a leader on the international stage, winning the Nobel Peace Prize just months after taking office!
The President is a constitutional law scholar and given that the new Republican house spent their first days in power reading aloud from it, such a scholar should be exactly the man to work with this Congress. Indeed, even as Speaker Boehner threatened to slit our nation’s econimic throat, President Obama was able to forge a compromise to maintain our AAA rating.
The President appointed twice as many women to the US Supreme Court than any President before him. He provided incentives to employers to hire chronically unemployed Americans.
The list of his accomplishments go on and on, click the link I provided above.
But what of the things the President *promised* to accomplish? Well, Gitmo is still open, but I don’t think anyone seriously believes that the President could shutdown the Bush administration’s terrorist holding pen without thorough vetting of the occupants and adequate relocation facilities. No one wants to answer to the parents or children of victims murdered by prematurely or inadvisably released terrorists.
DOMA and Dont Ask Dont Tell are still the law of the land. This reality is disappointing, but I will use my “one time” chip and punt this away with “there is no Republican candidate that will overturn either of these laws. We have a two-party system, so either you’ll have a Democrat discriminating against gay Americans or a Republican. I choose Democrat and hope this shameful chapter in my country’s history soon comes to a close.”
The President promised immigration reforms and seems to have gone the other way. Indeed, as you know he’s the deportation champ. However, for now, these are our immigration laws. He took an oath to uphold them. The same as I did when I became an attorney. I don’t like all the laws… I certainly don’t understand why Americans over the age of majority aren’t given one freebee murder or why BMW drivers can’t drive as fast as they want, but there it is. When the laws change, the Justice Department will move on.
President Obama made good on his promise to wrap up the war in Iraq — sans obnoxious banner flying — and he has ramped up efforts in Afghanistan. Not to mention he gave the kill order that ended the 10-year-long hunt for Osama bin Laden. Oh, did I mention it? Whoops. My bad.
The President did not end the ill-advised Bush tax cuts, but given that the Republican opposition was willing to send the United States into default over the debt ceiling fight, my guess is compromising with the lame duck Congress on these tax cuts saved yet another melodramatic stand off with the Republican leadership. The President’s current plan to begin taxing the trappings of luxury and the mega rich may well go a long way to close the gap between the national debt and disproportionate taxation.
But what of the lamentations of the Matt Damon types who believe the President has let them down? Comedian Elon James White has hilariously dubbed these (mostly) white liberals “Emo Progs.” They believed that the magical negro, dubbed by EJW, Jesus H. Dumbeldore would deliver free love and legal drugs and Priuses in every driveway, maaannn! Except, candidate Barack Obama ran a distinctly centrist campaign… he didn’t even come out in favor of gay marriage on the campaign trail. I don’t know why they thought he was some kind of secret hippie… I blame Donald Trump and his “sources.” And Oprah.
I would never blame Oprah for anything. That woman is a saint whose visage should be printed on our money.
President Obama has the tricky task of being the President of *America.* That means he’s the President of men like Vice President Dick Cheney, who would never in a bazillion years vote for him and he’s the President of awesome bloggers like Stephane Clare who would never vote against him unless he signed some “Stephane Clare will be imprisoned for life if she votes for me” bill. My interests as someone who loves the United States and wants to see my country thrive, prosper and win all the gold medals in every sport ever, are most closely aligned with President Obama’s steady cool, cerebral leadership. I may not understand why Larry Summers has a job in the Obama administration, as opposed to say, a job breaking rocks in a prison yard; but not for one second do I believe the President doesn’t understand the economic, social, or geo-political forces at play. I don’t know that he’s making every decision I would make, but I trust his decision-making.
He’s not a God, he is a man. Probably the second best man I’ve seen in that job in my lifetime. Plus, I could stand another four years of listening to the President’s melifluous addresses and staring dreamily into his pretty pretty face. (Though, Mr. President, please quit smoking! I want to see you around for a long long time and I do not want your face destroyed by smoke or your awesome voice snatched by a cancer tumor. Please and thank you. What? You don’t think the President reads my blog? He totally does! I would read his blog if he had one! Oh, does he have one…um…*whistles*)
So, go forth and prod some sense into a Republican — President Obama has represented their interests (he’s even explicitly signed laws saying that abortions would not be funded at all under the new healthcare bill) far better than half the current field of Republican candidates. Then, go hug an Emo Prog, I guess they’re not used to not getting their way (man, imagine being a poor black teenage girl who campaigned her little heart out for Bill Clinton only to have him throw all her interests under the bus in, oh, 16 months flat. I COULDN’T EVEN DRINK MY SORROWS AWAY, YET!).
My advice? Curl up in your twin bed with a pint of Ben & Jerry’s and play this song till you feel better:
Happy Birthday, Mr. President. I wish you five more years in the White House and decades more of life!